Camp has been a rite of passage for American youth for decades, and as such a thousand options are available nationwide for parents. Narrowing the choices down by state becomes easier, and narrower still are the choices for a faith-focused camp. Still, recruiters and advertisements fill church bulletins and the web, so there are some tips for choosing between all the Christian summer camps in Texas.
- Geographical focus. Most people remember summer camp as hikes through the woods and canoe lessons, but not all Texas summer camps can offer those experiences. From wilderness camps in West Texas to ocean studies near Galveston, the options are as diverse as the state’s climate. It’s important to know what you’d like your son or daughter to see and learn before deciding.
- Denomination. One Christian summer camp can be radically different from another, depending on church affiliation. Many of them strive to be non-denominational, teaching the most universally accepted tenets of the faith, but many rely on a specific church’s funding. This isn’t necessarily bad, as a Methodist daughter can meet and befriend other Wesleyans like herself, but it should be known beforehand to ensure a child feels welcome and comfortable.
- Length and location. For many attendees, camp is the first experience away from home, which can be both exciting and terrifying. Most young children don’t want to leave their parents for longer than a week, but after a few summers, two to six weeks apart doesn’t seem so bad. Make sure your son or daughter is comfortable with being separated from home—by an hour or day-long trip, depending on the location. Returning to pick homesick kids up halfway through is an expensive affair.